Solar manufacturer Silicon Energy open for business and a tour: Recap, photos, video, coverage


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Gary Shaver, President of Silicon Energy, talks about their modules

On January 11, 2012 CERTs was joined by over 150 Minnesotans to tour Silicon Energy’s new solar PV manufacturing facility in Mt. Iron.

Several educational speakers filled us in on the rising importance and presence of solar energy on the Iron Range and across the state, followed by a presentation and tour from president Gary Shaver and lots of networking time.

Here’s what the agenda looked like:

  • Welcome & Introductions – Joel Haskard & Bill Mittlefehldt, CERTs
  • Commissioner’s Remarks – Commissioner Tony Sertich, IRRRB
  • Local Utility Incentives for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy – Tina Koecher, Minnesota Power; Tanuj Gulati & Tyler Barrell, Energy Management Solutions/Mt. Iron Municipal Utility; Leo Wilenius, Lake Country Power
  • Senator’s Remarks – Senator David J. Tomassoni, Minnesota Senate
  • Mayor’s Remarks – Gary Skalko, Mayor of Mountain Iron
  • Opportunities for Residential, Business, and Farms – Joel Haskard, CERTs
  • Presentation & Tour of Silicon Energy’s Manufacturing Plant – Gary Shaver, President

Check out a video from the event featuring Bill Mittlefehldt, NE CERT Coordinator!:

Watch a slideshow of images from the event below or see our set on Flickr with the same photos.

We received lots of nice media attention for the event. Take a look:

Looking for more resources? This event was part of the new Rural Minnesota Solar Initiative, a resource from CERTs to help farmers and small business owners learn more about how solar can work for them, and provide the needed assistance to catalyze projects. You can learn more about solar and see our freshest resources at

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    CERTs Partners:

Minnesota Department of Commerce University of Minnesota Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships and Extension Great Plains Institute Southwest Regional Development Commission